Out of here: Students travel for fun, to study, to provide aid for break


Spring break means different thoughts and activities to different people. It can be a break from class, a break from work or simply a break from Manhattan.

Whether students are experiencing their first college spring break or embracing their last, there are a variety of options to choose from to fill the weeklong rest.

Volunteer Work

K-State offers a way for students to travel and help other communities through the alternative break program in the civic leadership office of Leadership Studies and Programs.

Kim Frazier, who works with K-State’s AmeriCorps VISTA program, said the alternative break program is open to all K-State students. There are several locations and activities available, like rebuilding houses in Greensburg, Kan., working with the Boys and Girls Club in Chicago, and working on a trail in La Follette, Tenn. There are also programs in New Orleans and Dallas.

Most trips cost $175, which covers travel, housing and most meal expenses, Frazier said. Trips to Greensburg cost $125.

“From a student’s perspective, it’s a cheap option,” Frazier said. “For an entire week, you couldn’t necessarily stay at home for $200. It’s also fun, and you can meet a lot of people and do community service and help communities outside of Manhattan.”

She said about 40 students will go to New Orleans, about 35 will work in Greensburg and other sites will have about 10 students.

Monica Parrish, special assistant for Leadership Studies and Programs, said the deadline to apply for the alternative break program was Feb. 15, but the deadline is not “hard and fast.”

“Basically, we have ‘X’ amount of spots to fill,” she said. “If we don’t get enough applications by then, we’ll keep recruiting. Generally in the past, it’s worked out pretty even, with some negotiating room.”

Frazier said applications can be found on the Leadership Studies and Programs Web site, and completed and

turned in to the civic leadership office in the Foundation Center or e-mailed to kfrazier@ksu.edu.

Group Plans

Tara Marsh, Jade Travel consultant, said popular places for students to travel to this year is Cancun and Jamaica.

However, Marsh said students should start finalizing their plans and buying their plane tickets for spring break trips before Christmas. She said she has looked at cruises for groups and families, and spots are filling quickly.

For students who have not made plans yet, Marsh said there is still time, and students should look to avoid high airfare costs.

“At this point, any place they can drive to is good,” she said, “like Padre. It’s probably the most popular because it’s the party atmosphere. If they want to go on a cruise, they could drive to Galveston [Texas].”

Marsh also said students can drive somewhere to go skiing.

She said if students want to stay close for break, they could go to a lake in Missouri if the weather is nice enough.

“But I haven’t had any calls for anybody going somewhere in Kansas,” she said.

Marsh said Jade Travel, 315 Poyntz Ave., has access to different search engines and companies that offer spring break trips, and the travel consultants can help students find discounts on group sizes or other details.

“We can handle all the payments and documents and everything that is needed,” she said.

Trips Abroad

Liz Ward, director of study abroad programs, said studying abroad is also an option for students during spring break.

“It’s a short period of time,” Ward said. “So, typically faculty-led programs are the most popular.”

She said the programs offered during the break vary each year in their academic content and countries.

Ward said many students who study abroad during spring break later decide to study abroad for a longer period of time.

Ward said students usually apply for the spring break programs in the spring semester.

According to the Office of International Programs Web site, there are two faculty-led programs planned for spring break.

For one of the trips students can receive credit for Modern Political Thought while traveling around Prague, Czech Republic, and the other trip covers European literature while traveling Europe.